What are the Georgia Labor Laws?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal act, which sets the minimum wage threshold for employees across the U.S. It also specifies the remuneration rate for overtime and weekend employment among other standards. Each state can legislate their payment and hour laws as long as the rules are higher than those established by the federal standard.
In Georgia, the minimum wage per hour is only $5.15 per hour and is under federal requirements. Employers, who need to comply with the FLSA though, have to meet the federal requirement of $7.25 per hour. Employers with 5 or fewer employees and employers with annual sales of $40,000 or less do not have to meet the state’s minimum wage laws. It also does not apply to employers who are sharecroppers, farm owners or land renters and those who employ domestic employees.
Tipped employees are paid at a minimum rate of $2.13 if this amount in combination with their tips received equates to the federal minimum requirements. If it falls short, the employer must make up the difference.
Subminimum wages – Georgia does not have any laws about employees with disabilities, apprentices, trainees, learners or student learners and workers.
Most employees in Georgia fall under the federal FLSA and are subject to any law set forth under it.
For a list of federal minimum wage exemptions visit - https://www.employmentlawhandbook.com/federal-employment-and-labor-laws/flsa/exemptions/
The FLSA defines a workweek as 40 hours worked in a recurring cycle of 168 hours, regardless of which day of the week the period commences. Employees, who work for more than 40 hours per workweek, will receive overtime of 1.5 times their standard wage payments, for those additional hours worked. Exceptions include but are not limited to – executive, professional administrative employees, and sales personnel who are paid on a salaried basis.
For a list of federal overtime, exemptions check out -
Since Georgia does not have any laws about meal breaks, federal laws are applicable. Short breaks, under 20 minutes, are paid. Payment for breaks of 30 minutes or longer is left up to the discretion of the employer.
It is not obligatory for employers to provide employees with vacation benefits, whether paid or unpaid. Employers also have the liberty to not make any accrued vacation leave payments for separation or termination of employment.
Employees can be disqualified from receiving these payments if they have not met specific criteria of their employment agreements like not being employed for a certain number of days or a failure to submit adequate notice period.
At all times though, employers who choose to provide or deny this benefit must do so keeping in line with established company policy or the employee’s contract terms. If there isn’t any policy or contractual term regarding this benefit, then it is not mandatory that the employer pays it, except if there is an already established practice of doing so. In Georgia, there is neither a maximum limit on accumulated leave nor a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy.
Employers are not legislated to provide a certain number of paid or unpaid sick leaves. If they wish to, they must do so in line with company policy or the employee’s contract terms. However, employers are required to allow employees unpaid sick leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. For more information on it, visit - https://www.employmentlawhandbook.com/federal-employment-and-labor-laws/fmla/.
Employers are also not required under law to provide any holiday leave, paid or unpaid. Private employers can make their employees work on holidays but will have to compensate them for overtime if they meet the standard requirements. Again provision of this benefit should be in keeping with company policy or terms entered into the employee's contractual agreement.
Public employees are not obligated to work on the ten state holidays plus any two additional days. Private employers do not have to observe state holidays or compensate their employees at a premium wage for working on these days.
Jury duty and bereavement leave
Employers do not have to provide this type of holiday. If they choose to, company policy or contract terms are applicable. In 1998, Georgia's Attorney General stated that employees could file a civil action against their employer for failing to provide jury leave. So many counties in the state allow this type of holiday.
Employers have to allow for up to 2 hours of voting leave, paid or unpaid. However, the employee has to provide adequate notice of time required, and the polls should be closed for at least 2 hours before the employee’s shift commences and ends.
For further information on Georgia labor laws, go to - https://www.employmentlawhandbook.com/wage-and-hour-laws/state-wage-and-hour-laws/georgia/#2